Republican Ken Mehlman's Thursday fundraiser in support of the federal case against California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, raised $1.2 million, gay blog reported.

Mehlman, the former chief of the Republican National Committee, came out gay last month in an interview with conservative glossy The Atlantic and announced he would be fundraising for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group formed specifically to support the challenge to Proposition 8.

More than 120 people attended the event held in New York City's Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Many gay activists have criticized Mehlman for working against the interests of the gay community, particularly as manager of President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. That year, eleven states approved gay marriage bans with the backing of the GOP.

“As someone who regrets very much not being involved, and not being on the right side of this important effort until recently, let me just say this: This will be my first but not my last event and I hope you will stay involved, too,” Mehlman told the crowd.

Lead attorney Ted Olson said he believes the case, currently on appeal, will eventually reach the Supreme Court.

Luminaries attending the event included gay activist and former Clinton adviser David Mixner; Freedom to Marry Executive Director Evan Wolfson; Brian Ellner, who helms the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) effort to legalize gay marriage in New York; GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios; gay rights activist Richard Socarides; Steve Schmidt, who managed Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign; and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt.